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IntroductionDispossessionWhite Western AustraliaGroup SettlementPopulate or PerishNew AustraliansMulticultural Western Australia

New Australians continued

Displaced Persons, indentured to fill unskilled labour vacancies in essential industries for two years often found themselves in remote locations such as the saw mills and the dairy farms of the South-West, pastoral stations of the North, and farms in the Eastern wheatbelt. Others found themselves involved in rail and road restoration in many parts of the State.  Women found work in service and hospitality industries near the tent camps in which the family lived. Often highly educated, poor English language skills and non-recognition of overseas qualifications prevented these migrants from continuing their profession, working in unskilled jobs in the manufacturing and building industries
By the 1960s roughly 50% of settlers came from the United Kingdom and Ireland, while approximately 30% came from Greece, Italy, Yugoslavia, Germany and Malta.  Migrant labour contributed to the development of the State's iron-ore industry and its associated infrastructure, being essential to a range of mining projects such as that at Barrow Island, as well as industrial developments in Cockburn Sound.
In the years after the Second World War non-British migrants were known as 'New Australians' and were expected to abandon their native culture and languages to assimilate with the English-speaking majority. But by the mid-1970s Western Australia's ethnic makeup had changed considerably and, in spite of the policy of assimilation, Western Australia had become a society with a vibrant cultural mix.

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